north korea

The past few days have been particularly chaotic, even for a president who seems to thrive on self-created chaos.

There's been a feud with a key Republican senator, a flare-up at a professional football game with President Trump instructing his vice president to walk out when players (on the most activist team in the NFL) knelt during the national anthem, and he even questioned the IQ of his secretary of state.

Another Sunday, another Trump Twitter war.

This time, President Trump, who is spending the day at his golf course in Virginia, took aim at retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

And Corker fired back.

"It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center," Corker wrote. "Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Rex Tillerson denied a report out early Wednesday that he considered resigning as secretary of state, but he did not deny another detail in the report — that he called President Trump a "moron."

The rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea cooled for a day — and just a day only, it appears.

Roughly 24 hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the U.S. has been engaged in diplomatic talks with Pyongyang, President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to deride the effort — as well as Kim Jong Un.

Updated 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday

North Korea's foreign minister says President Trump's tweets about the Korean nation amount to a declaration of war and that under international law, his country can legally shoot down U.S. military planes — even if they're not in North Korea's airspace.

The Trump administration is updating its travel ban, just hours before it was set to expire. In a proclamation signed by President Trump on Sunday, the travel restrictions now include eight countries, a couple of which are not majority-Muslim, as had been the case with all the nations in the original ban.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has weighed in on the heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, with a personal analysis of President Trump's Tuesday speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump's speech, which was notable for its apocalyptic rhetoric — it vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea and its 25 million people if the United States had to defend itself and its allies — aroused greater fears of military miscalculation that could lead to catastrophe.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

President Trump ordered new economic sanctions Thursday against any bank or other company doing business with North Korea, in response to Pyongyang's renegade nuclear program.

The move is designed to tighten the economic screws on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in hopes of halting his development of nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them.

In his latest tweet about North Korea, President Trump gave leader Kim Jong Un a new nickname — "Rocket Man" — and seems to indicate he thinks sanctions on the country are working: "Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!" Trump wrote.

But are they, really? And what, if anything, could that tell us about the North Korean economy right now?

A narrow majority of Americans don't trust President Trump to handle the conflict with North Korea, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

The findings come as the president and his diplomatic team prepare for the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, where North Korea's renegade nuclear program will be a major focus.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET Thursday

Japanese and South Korean officials have confirmed another missile test by North Korea Friday morning local time. This is the 15th North Korean missile test this year and the first to come after Pyongyang tested its most powerful nuclear bomb yet.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Monday to impose a new set of sanctions against North Korea after the United States compromised with Russia and China who opposed an even harder line sought by the Trump administration.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has differed with President Trump over a number of significant foreign policy issues — North Korea, Iran and Qatar, to name a few. But when Tillerson distanced himself from the president on the question of American values — telling Fox News Sunday that the president "speaks for himself" by blaming "both sides" for violence that took place during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. — questions grew over whether he would soon be out of office.

Rebecca Hammel / U.S. Senate Photographic Studio

Is there hope for a diplomatic solution to the rising nuclear threat of North Korea? If you ask Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), diplomacy is the only hope.

 

Speaking on a panel for business leaders and non-governmental organizations in Buckhead today, Perdue agreed emphatically with one of the other speakers, retired Air Force general Richard E. Hawley, that the only viable path to a lasting de-escalation with North Korea is through diplomatic outreach and negotiation.

North Korea is issuing fresh threats against the United States as a 10-day computer-based military exercise gets under way on the Korean peninsula. It's an annual joint drill between American and South Korean forces, but this year, it comes following a bitter back-and-forth between North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed his military's plans to rain "an enveloping fire" around the U.S. territory of Guam — but opted not to fire missiles at this time, according to state media. Despite the stand-down, some Guamanians were alarmed after two radio stations aired an erroneous emergency alert Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen is warning that tensions with North Korea could easily get "out of control" and blames President Trump's harsh rhetoric for narrowing options.

Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Mullen was asked whether the president's bellicose comments on North Korea had made the situation worse.

"It eliminates maneuver space for him because it looks like brinkmanship to me," said Mullen, a retired admiral.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Nuclear Threat Initiative

Our guest on today’s show is former Georgia U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Nunn served in the U.S. senate for 24 years. He was the chairman of the prestigious Armed Services Committee and of the Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations. After retiring from the senate in 1997, he became the founder of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction.

Stefan Krasowski / Wikimedia Commons

 

As tensions escalate with North Korea, a leading nuclear weapons expert says an “America first” approach could put the U.S. and its allies in danger.

Sam Nunn is the co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit that works to prevent the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons.

On GPB’s Political Rewind Wednesday, Nunn said the U.S. needs to make it clear to allies in east Asia that it cares about their safety.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

As the leaders of two nuclear-armed countries trade threats, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Trump "is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language."

U.S. intelligence analysts say North Korea has developed a warhead that fits on its ballistic missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching U.S. territory, according to The Washington Post.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

President Trump on Tuesday threatened to meet North Korea with "fire and fury" a day after Pyongyang said it was ready with "ultimate measures" in response to new U.N. sanctions pushed by Washington.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," the president warned at a meeting on the opioid crisis held at Bedminster, N.J., where he is on an extended working vacation.

President Trump signed a bill Wednesday imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, but he made it clear that he was not happy about it.

The president released a scathing signing statement that said the bill was hastily assembled and included "a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions."

The South Korean government made a rare formal overture to its counterpart in the North on Monday, proposing that the longstanding rivals open new military talks along their shared border. It is the first such offer under South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who signaled his willingness to talk with Pyongyang during his campaign earlier this year.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On the Fourth of July, North Korea marked a milestone by firing an intercontinental ballistic missile that soared high into space before turning around and landing in the sea near Japan. The North's state media said the missile, Hwasong-14, flew 580 miles, reaching an altitude of 1,741 miles, and flew for nearly 40 minutes.

Listen closely to what U.S. officials like to say about America's long security alliance with South Korea, where 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed in bases around the country. Something in the language perpetually pops up:

"America's commitment to defending our allies ... remain[s] ironclad," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in Seoul in February.

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